See shocking scenes as flytippers dump bags of waste at Sunderland beauty spot

Flytippers have dumped bags of waste at a Sunderland beauty spot – and a local councillor says it is a growing problem.
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Plastic bags full of what appears to be building materials have been left alongside both sides of the Coast to Coast cycleway on the north side of the River Wear at Cox Green, near Penshaw.

One walker who spotted the waste commented: “It’s disgusting but I blame the council for charging so much to collect rubbish”.

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Coun Mel Spedding, whose Shiney Row ward covers Cox Green, said flytipping was a regular problem, with the village’s remote location making it attractive to people who wanted to avoid being seen.

“We had a case of flytipping last week that blocked the road. It is a regular occurrence because it is so out of the way,” he said.

"People think they can dump their rubbish without being seen. Obviously, we are aware of it.”

Local councillors had flagged up the issue with council officers and were calling for action on the problem : “We keep raising the situation with environmental services,” said Coun Spedding.

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"There needs to be some enforcement action – these people need to be caught and prosecuted.”

Rubbish has been dumped along both sides of the pathRubbish has been dumped along both sides of the path
Rubbish has been dumped along both sides of the path
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Coun Speeding said he believed the situation had been exacerbated by enforcement action in other areas which had moved the flytippers on: “I think people are transferring from Crow Lane – that used to be a problem site but one or two of them were spotted,” he said.

And he dismissed claims that bulky collection charges were too high, saying anyone who had the means to physically transport so much waste just in order to illegally dump it had no excuse not to use the city council’s new recycling centre at Pallion.

"You can take stuff up to the new tip no problem,” he said.

Bags appear to contain building materialsBags appear to contain building materials
Bags appear to contain building materials

"It is easy to access and you can make up to five visits every rolling 28 days, so that really is not an excuse.

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"It should not be an issue – it is just these people who think that they are above the law.”

And he urged people to be careful who they paid to remove their waste: “Who is dumping this stuff? – is it people who are being paid by residents?”

Deputy city council leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, Coun Claire Rowntree said the authority took the problem seriously: “We take a zero tolerance approach to all environmental crime, including fly-tipping, which is not only illegal but can also be a real blight on our communities,” she said.

The rubbish has been dumped at Cox GreenThe rubbish has been dumped at Cox Green
The rubbish has been dumped at Cox Green

"We’re very aware of how the vast majority of residents feel about littering and fly-tipping.

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“In the last two years, more than 1,400 fixed penalty notices have been issued for a range of environmental crimes. We have seized vehicles on suspicion of being involved in fly tipping and six have subsequently been crushed.

“The council has a bulky waste collection service for households where six items will be collected for £10.

Residents can also make appointments to the Household Waste and Recycling Centres at Pallion and Campground (Wrekenton). Collection and centre details are online at”

Flytipping can be reported in confidence to or by calling 520 5550.